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Ever since a story about him appeared in this paper, News Hits has been a frequent visitor to the blog produced by University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole. The site (juancole.com) provides a comprehensive wrap-up of reports from a multinational array of news sources with analysis by Cole, who adds his analysis of events, often producing a picture of Iraq that’s far more comprehensive (and more profoundly pessimistic) than just about anything to be found in the mainstream media. We’re also happy to see that Cole, a specialist on the Middle East and its religions, is branching out to reach a bigger audience. There is, for example, his May 6 piece for the online mag Salon.com. Titled “Melting Pot of Blood” (which, in itself, summarizes the current state of affairs in Iraq) Cole’s piece paints a gloomy forecast.

We offer this snippet:

“Iraq’s elected Parliament finally swore in a new Cabinet on Tuesday — yet another milestone that the Bush administration hoped would represent a decisive turning point in its campaign to remake Iraq. But like the toppling of Saddam’s statue, the dictator’s capture, the formation of an interim government, the siege of Fallujah, the national elections, and the formation of a new government, this latest development offered little reason for hope that the bloody insurrection would subside.”

If you want to keep up with what’s really going on over in Iraq, Juan Cole’s work is a must-read.

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